What is wifi calling (VoWIFI)? How to Enable and Disable in a Phone?

Wifi Calling is also known as Voice Over Wifi (VoWifi ) network. The feature transforms a wireless internet router with a broadband connection into a mobile tower for your in-house mobile phones. A phone connects to the telecom network operator using internet connectivity. You might be using the Internet for voice calls (VoIP) for a long time, but VoWifi differs from how it works.

In this tutorial, we will explain the details of wifi calling, how different from VOIP, its advantages, disadvantages, etc.

Why is there a need for wifi calling?

The wifi network is widespread these days. The network provides access to the Internet over a wireless interface. It uses a router with an antenna for wireless network connection and ports to connect to Internet service providers.

Wifi calling uses a Wireless Router radio interface to make and receive calls in such a way as using a GSM network tower. With VoWifi, the mobile network operator gets more coverage without installing new gsm mobile towers.

What is WiFi Calling
What is wifi Calling

There might be chances that you are carrying a mobile phone in a building basement, and that phone may lose the GSM radio network. But if the phone supports wifi calling, it will switch seamlessly to the wifi network. Enables telephony services without a GSM  cellular network.

The internet packets tunnel to the mobile operator’s network. This enables the mobile operator to control the services for your mobile.

Wifi Calling and VOIP – Are they both the same?: 

  • VOIP or Voice Over IP looks similar to wifi calling as both use the Internet for calls. But these are two different approaches. In VOIP, you must install a third-party application, e.g., Skype.
  • The identity of the called party could be other than a phone number (e.g., skype name). While in wifi calling, the called party identity remains the same.
  • The back-end network of the internet provider is used. In VOIP, there will be no interaction with the core network of a mobile operator.
  • Wifi calling does not need any additional application on the phone. The phone authenticates itself with the core network as a typical cellular network.

What are the Benefits of wifi Calling?

  • Adds more coverage to a mobile operator using the wifi network along with the existing telecom network.
  • Wifi can be used in places where the strength of a cellular network is weak or there is no network.
  • Fixed-line operators can also start mobile services without buying cellular networks.
  • No need to install any additional application to make or receive calls over the wifi network.
  • Phone contacts remain the same as they used for the regular call over the gsm network.
  • Quality of call over wifi is generally good, as most places install very high-speed broadband connections and good quality wifi routes.
  • Most smartphones support the wifi calling. No additional device or application is required.
  • Offloads the mobile operator carrier traffic.
  • All calls are routed from the mobile operator’s network. This secures the communication as no third-party server involves.

How to Enable/Disable wifi Calling on iPhone and Android?

The feature, by default, is not active. The mobile user has to enable the feature manually. Most smartphones have a setting available for wifi calling. At the same time, the mobile network operator should also support the same.

How to Enable on an iPhone?

When it comes to smartphones, iPhone is considered to be a good one. It has all the advanced options. Wifi calling is one of them. To enable this feature, the subscriber has to do the following.

  1. Click on the settings icon.
  2. Click on the phone.
  3. Turn on/off the wifi calling from the slider.
  4. Give the warning, and tap on enable.

How to Enable it on an Android handset?

Android is a very broadly used platform by Google for mobile devices. Many phone manufacturers have adopted Android as the OS for them. The following explains how you can enable wifi calling on Android. The steps may vary for each phone vendor or model from the same phone vendor. We are using Galaxy S8, for example. On other device models, it may be a little different.

  1. Click on settings,
  2. Click on connections, then wifi calling.
  3. Use the slider to turn on/off the feature.

What should a Mobile network have for wifi calling or VoWifi?

The mobile network keeps evolving. This results in more services and a more productive experience for a mobile subscriber. The latest mobile generation is 4G or LTE. Wifi calling is possible with the LTE network only. LTE’s core network is called EPC. It can connect a non-3GPP network to the mobile core network. The IMS is the additional component needed for wifi calling and VoLTE.

Does a question come about how wifi network signaling converts to LTE-EPC? This is possible via a gateway ePDG or evolved packet data gateway. This connects the public Internet to the LTE network. A secure IP-based communication takes place between the wifi network and ePDG.